A proven talent as an actress, director and writer, KASI LEMMONS (Written for
the Screen and Directed by), continues to creatively tantalize with her thought
provoking body of work.
Lemmons' work as an actress includes roles in Jonathan Demme's SILENCE OF THE LAMBS opposite Jodie Foster, John Woo's first American film, HARD TARGET, Rusty Cundieff's parody of the rap music industry, FEAR OF A BLACK HAT, CANDYMAN with Virginia Madsen, Spike Lee's SCHOOL DAYS, and VAMPIRE'S KISS with Nicolas Cage. Lemmons' first feature-length film, EVE'S BAYOU, became the highest grossing independent film of 1997. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for 'Best
First Feature' and received seven NAACP Image Award nominations, including 'Best Picture.' In
addition, Lemmons received a special first time director award, created just for her, from
the National Board of Review. She also won the 'Director's Achievement Award' at the 9th
Annual Nortel Palm Springs Film Festival.
THE CAVEMAN'S VALENTINE, her follow-up feature to the acclaimed EVE'S BAYOU, opened 2002's Sundance Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim.
THE CAVEMAN'S VALENTINE was a co-production of Danny Devito's Jersey Films and
features EVE'S BAYOU star Samuel L. Jackson.
For the 2002 Oscar telecast, Lemmons directed a touching tribute to Sidney
Poitier. She was also involved in an exploration of the roles and representations of black
women in film for the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.
Lemmons' most recent feature TALK TO ME, starring Don Cheadle, was released nationwide in July 2007 by Focus Features to widespread critical acclaim. She
received the 2008 NAACP Image Award for outstanding directing. The film also earned a Gotham Award
for best ensemble cast, and Chiwetel Ejifor took home an Independent Spirit Award for
'Best Supporting Actor.'
Lemmons is well respected for her ability to adapt beloved novels while
remaining true to their essence. Most recently she has adapted On Beauty, the Booker
Prized-nominated novel by Zadie Smith.
Lemmons has worked extensively as a mentor and educator. For the past 12 years
she has been a board member of Film Independent and has contributed to the Film
Independent Filmmaker Labs as a speaker and moderator. She also continues to serve as an
advisor for the Sundance Screenwriter and Filmmaker Labs.
Guest teaching and speaking credits include Yale University, MIT, UCLA, USC, The
Los Angeles Film School and The University of Pristina Film School in Kosovo. As
well as attending New York University School of the Arts, UCLA and The New School of Social
Research Film Program, Lemmons was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from
Salem State College in 1998. Currently, she is an associate arts professor at New York
University's Tisch School of the Arts.
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